Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Guilt: Oedipus and the Virtuous Pagans

In our discussion of the virtuous pagans in limbo in class today, I was reminded again of the theme of the guilt of someone who does not realize what they are doing. I think it's interesting how this theme seems to appear repeatedly. Obviously, some of the pagans in limbo did everything they could to live a virtuous life but were unable to be Christians since Christianity did not even exist. To have them be punished eternally, if in a somewhat mild way compared to others, seems somewhat unfair. Especially as some of the old testament figures who have just been randomly chosen by God have been saved.

I think it's interesting that in all of the works we have read that consider this theme fall on the side of punishment being right: Tomas says the Communists can't plead ignorant to their crimes, Oedipus is right for punishing himself even as he did not know what he was doing, and the pagans are punished by God who must be just. In the latter two examples, though, there is some element of pity that we feel toward the punished, especially as their punishment seems disproportionate to their actions considering the context. In some ways, the virtuous pagans are the most unfairly punished as some of them literally could not have done anything to be saved. I think its interesting that in these works, justice seems to fall on the side of punishing those who did not realize, and even those who absolutely couldn't realize, what they were doing. Personally, I feel like this does not really represent true justice for those who could not know what they were doing. However, in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the one example of a historical example of this ethical dilemma, I feel more inclined to think that the Communists had some culpability and should have been able to realize what they were doing.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

PUNitive Jokes

Enjoy/cringe at these jokes about what we have learned recently/are about to learn.  (None of these are actually mine.)
1) What did the Parthenon play in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief? A supporting role.
2) A classics professor goes to a tailor to get his trousers mended. The tailor asks: “Euripides?” The professor replies: “Yes. Eumenides?”
3) CORN-thian column:

4) How was the Roman Empire divided?  With a pair of Caesars.
5) A senator was fifteen minutes late to the Senate on a day Cicero was giving a speech.  He sat in his usual seat and quietly asked the senator next to him what Cicero was talking about.  The senator replied, “I don’t know.  He hasn’t gotten to the verb yet.” - In Latin, verbs are often placed at the end of sentences, and apparently Cicero used really long sentence.
6) When did Caesar reign?
I didn’t know he reigned.
Of course he did, didn’t they hail him?
7) I won't apollogize for these Greek mythology puns.

Travels to Rome

This summer my family and I traveled to Rome, so I thought I would share some of the pictures we took while we were there.

My brother and I inside the Coliseum

Us in front of the Arcus Titi (Arch of Titus) in Rome. Domitian, a Roman Emperor, dedicated it to his older brother, Titus, also a Roman Emperor.

Cool story here, actually. We unknowingly came to the Papal States on one of the two (not sure about this number, someone told me it) times in the year that the Pope actually comes out into the audience instead of just standing on his balcony. In the middle are my brother and the Pope is in the top left.
To conclude, here's my favorite. It's a video my dad took of the Pope riding past us in his Jeep. Again, we didn't expect this so it was pretty cool.

Arch of Titus

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One of the most memorable structures we talked about last year in Latin class was the Arcus Titi, or Arch of Titus. This arch was made by Domitian honoring his recently deceased brother's military accomplishments. One of Titus's, his brother, most famous military victories was the Siege of Jerusalem in AD 70. The Arch is along the Via Sacra (Sacred Road), one of Roman's largest ancient roads at the time. The Arch was made Rabirius, one of Domitian's favorite architects. The Arch is very detailed and was over 50ft tall, 44ft wide, and 15ft deep. One the front panel of the arch would have been letters made out of silver or gold on top of the inscription that still remains. This inscription states, The Roman Senate and People dedicate this to the divine Titus Vespasianus August, son of the divine Vespasian,  or in Latin: Senatus Populusque Romanus divo Tito divi Vespasiani filio Vespasiano Augusto. Vespian, Domitian and Titus's father also made the Colosseum. You can also find a picture of Dr. Ramos by the Arcus Titi in his room. 

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